Cash for Caulkers
Cash for Caulkers
Julie graduated from Creighton University with a major in dance and Theology and taught for several years at an inner-city school in Milwaukee. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and completed a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the years, her quest to merge diverse religious beliefs and practices through the commonalities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal source of love in all people.
Spread the Word
Weatherization has an important story to tell. Weatherization Works! Every day, Weatherization helps low-income families conserve energy, save money, and improve their living conditions. Weatherization measures even save lives. Combined savings for energy and non-energy benefits in 2008 show Weatherization returns at $2.72 for every $1 invested. Weatherization is the nation's "best kept secret" for residential energy conservation. Well, it's time to let that secret out!
WAP's Public Information Campaign (PIC) raises awareness of the Weatherization Program and its numerous benefits. NASCSP, NCAF, DOE, Simonson Management Services, state and local Weatherization offices, and other stakeholders are working together to develop PIC materials and resources.
science and use diagnostic tools to anticipate
problems. Field technicians need to be empowered
to apply the proper materials correctly.
Since many of the moisture problems in the
tend to appear in attics during the winter, it is vital
that insulation is combined with meticulous attic air
sealing. The insulation is not the problem and attic
ventilation is not necessarily the solution. While a
certain amount of attic ventilation is required,
additional venting may make a moisture problem
worse. Dense cold air may enter the vents and cool
the attic surfaces below the dew point of the indoor
If the thermal boundary between attic and living
space is not adequately sealed, roof vents may even
contribute to greater stack effect.
Self-sticking rubberized sheets can go under roof shingles wherever water could pond against an ice dam: above the eaves, around chimneys, in valleys, around skylights, and around vent stacks. If water leaks through the roof covering, the waterproof underlayment provides a second line of defense.
Sheet-metal ice belts can help, if a shiny 2-ft-wide metal strip along the edge of the roof is acceptable. Ice or snow belts are used for some patch-and-fix jobs on existing houses. The flashing, installed at the eaves, imitates metal roofing by shedding snow and ice before it causes a problem. It works-sometimes. The problem with ice belts is that a secondary ice dam often develops on the roof just above the top edge of the metal strip.
Placing electric heat tape in a zigzag arrangement on the shingles above the edge of the roof is a poor solution. I have never seen electrically heated cable actually fix an ice dam problem. The considerable amount of electricity it takes to prevent ice formation is expensive, and the heating must be done in anticipation of ice dam conditions, not afterwards. Over time, heat tape embrittles shingles, creating a fire risk. It's expensive to install, too, and water can leak through the cable fasteners. Often the cables create ice dams just above them. Don't waste time or money on this retrofit.The worst of all solutions is shoveling snow and chipping ice from the edge of a roof. People attack mounds of snow and roof ice with hammers, shovels, ice picks, homemade snow rakes, crowbars, and chain saws! The theory is obvious. No snow or ice, no leaking water. Unfortunately, this method threatens life, limb, and roof.
You can try to block the flow of melt water into a house by installing a rubber membrane on the roof under the roof shingles. Or you can craft a real solution: keep the entire roof cold, and save energy dollars in the process! In most homes this means: block all air leaks leading to the attic from the house, increase the thickness of insulation on the attic floor, and install a continuous soffit and ridge vent system. Be sure the air and insulation barrier you create is continuous.
Heat loss is often worst just above the top plate, the continuous horizontal framing where exterior walls and ceilings are joined. This is partly because there isn't room in the corner for adequate insulation. Also, builders are not particularly fussy about air sealing to prevent the movement of warm air up to the underside of the roof surface. Air can leak through wire and plumbing penetrations here, or can come from wall cavities, passing between the small cracks between the top plate and the drywall.
New houses should include plenty of ceiling insulation, a continuous air barrier separating the living space from the underside of the roof, and an effective roof ventilation system. In both new and retrofitted buildings, insulation should be up to local standards. In the northern United States, this is usually at least R-38. A soffit-to-ridge ventilation system is the most effective ventilation scheme for cooling roof sheathing (see "Roofing and Siding Rehabs Get an Energy Fix," p. 25). Power vents, turbines, roof vents, and gable louvers just aren't as good. Both the baffles on the ridge vent and the sun warming up the roof help drive the air flow out of the ridge vent. Air coming in the soffit washes the underside of the roof sheathing with a continuous flow of cold air.
Insulation retards conductive heat loss, but a special effort must be made to seal warm indoor air inside. In new construction, avoid making penetrations through the ceiling whenever possible. When you can't avoid making penetrations, or when air tightening existing homes, use urethane spray foam (in a can), caulk, packed cellulose, or weatherstripping to seal all ceiling leaks.
Roof leaks wet attic insulation. In the short term, wet insulation doesn't work well. Over the long term, water-soaked insulation remains compressed, so that even after it dries, the insulation in the ceiling is not as thick. The lower R-values become part of a vicious cycle: heat loss-ice dams-leaks-insulation damage-more heat loss! Cellulose insulation is particularly vulnerable to the hazards of wetting.
Water often leaks down within the wall frame, where it wets wall insulation and causes it to sag, leaving uninsulated voids at the top of the wall. Again, energy dollars disappear, but more importantly, moisture gets trapped within the wall cavity between the exterior plywood sheathing and the interior vapor barrier, causing smelly, rotting wall cavities. Structural framing members can decay. Metal fasteners may corrode. Mold and mildew can form on wall surfaces as a result of elevated humidity levels. Both exterior and interior paint blister and peel. And people with allergies suffer.
Peeling wall paint deserves special attention because its cause may be difficult to recognize. It is unlikely that wall paint will blister or peel when ice dams are visible. Paint peels long after the ice and the roof leak itself have disappeared. Water from the leak infiltrates wall cavities. It dampens building materials and raises the relative humidity within wall frames. The moisture within the wall cavity eventually wets interior wall coverings and exterior claddings as it tries to escape (as either liquid or vapor). As a result, interior and exterior walls shed their skin of paint.
Ice dams need three things to form: snow, heat to melt the snow, and cold to refreeze the melted snow into solid ice. As little as 1 or 2 inches of snow accumulation on a roof can cause ice dams to form. Snow on the upper part of the roof melts, runs down the roof under the blanket of snow to the roof's edge, and refreezes into a dam of ice. As more snowmelt runs down the roof, it pools against the ice dam. Eventually, water backs up under the shingles and leaks into the structure.
The reason ice dams form along the roof's edge, usually above the overhang, is straightforward. Heat and warm air leaking from living space below melts the snow, which trickles down to the colder edge of the roof (above the eaves) and refreezes. Every inch of snow that accumulates on the roof insulates the roof deck a little more (about R-1 per inch), keeping more heat from the living space in, which further heats the roof deck. Frigid outdoor temperatures ensure a fast and deep freeze at the eaves. The worst ice dams usually occur when a deep snow is followed by very cold weather.
Sixteen years how they fly,
from infant to teen in the blink of an eye.
The babe I held not so long ago,
has continued to grow and grow and grow.
From a mere twenty inches to six feet tall,
he reminds me of a mosaic wall.
A smidge of me here, a splash of dad there,
a dash of the ancestors sprinkled in for the flair.
In the swirl of stardust he took form,
and agreed on earth he’d transform.
He graced the world with his light,
born that memorable January fifteenth night.
When correctly installed with air sealing, each type of insulation can deliver comfort and lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year.
Insulation performance is measured by R-value — its ability to resist heat flow. Higher R-values mean more insulating power. Different R-values are recommended for walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces, depending on your area of the country. Insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it. So it is very important to seal air leaks before installing insulation to ensure that you get the best performance from the insulation.
To get the biggest savings, the easiest place to add insulation is usually in the attic. A quick way to see if you need more insulation is to look across your uncovered attic floor. If your insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more insulation. The recommended insulation level for most attics is R-38 (or about 12–15 inches, depending on the insulation type). In the coldest climates, insulating up to R-49 is recommended.
To Seal and Insulate with ENERGY STAR: